Age-related differences in gaze following: does the age of the face matter?

Gillian Slessor, Gillian Laird, Louise H. Phillips, Rebecca Bull, Dimitra Filippou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research revealed age differences in following the gaze of others. To date, however, investigations have concentrated on only young faces as target stimuli. The present study explored whether varying the age of target stimuli moderated gaze following in younger and older adults. Overall, older participants showed less evidence of gaze following, but this was qualified by the age of the face viewed. Younger participants showed an own-age bias, following the gaze cues of stimuli depicting those in their own age range to a greater extent than stimuli depicting older adults. However, a similar own-age effect was not found for older participants. These findings suggest that age differences in gaze following may be driven by younger participants having an advantage for processing the gaze cues from the faces of younger adults, highlighting the importance of varying the age of the target stimuli when assessing age differences in some aspects of social perception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-541
Number of pages6
JournalJournals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number5
Early online date13 Jun 2010
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


  • aging
  • gaze following
  • own-age bias
  • social cognition
  • own-age
  • language-development
  • joint attention
  • older-adults
  • recognition
  • memory
  • children
  • identification
  • autism
  • bias


Dive into the research topics of 'Age-related differences in gaze following: does the age of the face matter?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this